Independent Custody Visitor

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire operates an Independent Custody Visitors volunteer scheme for the county. This involves a team of volunteers who make unannounced visits to police stations to check on the welfare of detainees and the conditions in which they are held.

In appointing Independent Custody Visitors, care must be taken to avoid any potential conflict of interest. Serving police officers and other serving members of police or OPCC staff will be ineligible. The same will apply to special constables, justices of the peace and police volunteers. Where doubt exists over conflict of interest e.g due to current or previous occupation, the candidate may be interviewed and any potential conflict further explored. 

Custody Suites are located in Lancaster, Blackpool, Preston, Skelmersdale, Blackburn and Burnley

Please note: at the moment visiting within the Custody Suites is currently suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions.   However we are starting the recruiting process now so we can undertake applications, interviews and vetting processes.


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  • Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are members of the public recruited to visit police stations at random to check on the treatment of the people held in custody by the police.
  • ICVs volunteer with a partner and arrive unannounced at police stations. The police must give them immediate access to the custody area, cells, detention rooms and charge rooms.
  • The ICVs role is to speak to the person in custody and inspect the conditions in which they are being held.
  • After the visit the ICV will prepare a report, a copy of which goes to the Custody Inspector for any action and a further copy goes to the Scheme Administrator in the Police and Crime Commissioners office.
  • If the ICVs find anything wrong, they try to resolve the situation straight away by talking to the Duty Inspector. If it cannot be resolved then the Duty Inspector will explain what action will be taken, and when.
  • Regular meetings are held between the ICVs, the Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner with regular training given to ICVs to help them with their role.
  • Log volunteering hours monthly on-line.


Required Qualities:

  • Must be over 18 years of age
  • Good communication is essential
  • Good listening skills
  • Friendly
  • Committed to the role
  • Reliable
  • Good memory
  • Observational and writing skills
  • Must be able to remain calm and think quickly in difficult situations
  • Adhere to confidentiality guidelines


Training will be provided in the form of peer support, distance learning or trainer led.  Volunteers must have completed the required training before any activity can be undertaken and may be asked to regularly refresh training where required.

The panel meetings take place on different days and times throughout the year and the ICVs will be informed of the dates once they have done their induction. These are usually held on an evening.

Required Age:

18 years +


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At custody suites across Lancashire

Apply for this role

If you are interested in this opportunity please contact the Volunteer Co-ordinator for a chat, or click apply now.

Email: Lancashire Volunteer Partnership

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